Unifor urges Ontario investment for affordable child care

TORONTO, Feb. 3, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor's recent submission to the Ontario Consultation on Early Years and Child Care Strategy pushes the provincial government to invest in accessible, affordable child care.

"Unifor welcomes the Ontario government's commitment to improve the early years and child care system, but direct investment is needed," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "With new funding for public child care this Government has an opportunity to make a lasting difference that will help reduce poverty, improve women's equality and open up additional opportunities for parents and workers."

Unifor's submission, Early Years and Child Care: Good for Equality, Good for the Economy, outlines concrete action the Ontario government must take to improve up-front affordability and increase the number of licensed public child care spaces in the province.  The union noted that investment for child care also has significant benefits to society because everyone depends on someone who depends on child care. Rizvi added, "By creating more good jobs in child care that pay a fair living wage and offer ongoing education, all Ontario communities will benefit."

Ontario cities have the highest infant fees in the country. For example, in Toronto it is an astounding $1,649 a month or $19,788 per year and funding does not go far enough according to Unifor. Although there are some subsidies these currently only cover a portion of total child care fees and are not available to most parents in-need. In Toronto alone, more than 13,000 children are waiting for child care subsidies.

"The subsidy system does not work for the majority of families. For our members with non-standard work schedules, there are virtually no options and this keeps many women out of the workforce," said Gwen Campbell, Chair of the Unifor Ontario Women's Committee. "Access to affordable, quality public child care is instrumental in promoting women's equality and closing the gender wage gap - it can and must be done."

Unifor's submission, to the Ontario Consultation on Early Years and Child Care Strategy can be found at www.unifor.org/childcare.

Unifor is Canada's largest private sector union with over 310,000 members across Canada. Over a third of our members are women, with the majority in Ontario, where approximately 160,000 members live and work in Ontario.

The union was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For further information: For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Sarah McCue at sarah.mccue@unifor.org or (416) 458-3307(cell).

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